Too many faces, too few pages

Kingdoms Fall is book 3 in the Vengelys series – Not News.

Kingdoms Fall is supposed to be out this year yet – Not News.

Kingdoms Fall is a massive undertaking for me – wait, what?

That last bit might have some folks scratching their heads wondering ‘Why?’

It is the third installment in a world that has been built with characters that are already established, what could possibly be so challenging? Insert Aedan’s BIG lesson… there are so many characters now in this series that the pool can only be half full or the water runs all about when everyone gets in to bathe. The tub is over-crowded.

From a storytelling perspective this is and is not a good problem. For example, I’d rather tell a story through character interactions and dialogue than through monologue. More characters talking, less monologue, yay! Dialogue can get messy however, and lengthy, to have to keep up with the body movements and mannerisms that go with dialogue; because dialogue without them is cumbersome to a reader to follow and keep up with who is speaking. THAT lesson I learned in Watchtower from reader feedback. (That has since been remedied). Conversely, it is problematic from the perspective of being able to appropriately and adequately tell each characters side of, or story. Something has to give or you end up with an endless tome of work…which some people will relish and others will not pick up at all.

So you see…too many characters can be a major complication. In this case, it is a problem because while the stories are intertwined between the characters, each one or pair have vastly different stories. As a pantster writer, I failed to comprehend just how many stories I had set up, and now being faced with plotting, the over-arc and multiple sub-plots are a colossal undertaking to keep track of and incorporate. I’m in the way deep end without floaties here folks.

When I sit back and think on these things, I cannot help but be concerned that I have set this series up for some harsh ridicule if these pieces aren’t all collected and somehow correlated to the main series plot…which I might add, I have been roughly pantsing all along. I’ve had multiple notions of where this story could go and have vapidly fantasized over them more than once. Now, because of working with a plotter to get the pieces to reconcile, I have to make a decision AND (I am told) see it through. UGH! This goes against so many fibers of my being!

I like the idea that a bit of dialogue or a wicked twist of story can redirect the ending. I love the surprise of finding myself nearing the end of the tale and seeing that I am nowhere near where I anticipated I’d be.  It was actually just such a thing that took Oracle to Watchtower and the Vengelys cast adrift on the sky. Warrior’s Watchtower, at original concept, never went there. Having to nail down where Kingdoms Fall will end before it is half done, is honestly giving me terrets.

I have faith that all will be accomplished, and hopefully without a ‘Jurassic Park’ movement to take out half of the characters in a bloody dinosaur attack…Hopefully.  At this point, I’m trying to have faith and will out that it will work out as it should. Leaps of faith are not my suit. I’m more a step on the fuel and power through type. Unfortunately for me, it is that fight now, check the damage later mentality that has me in this spot to begin with.

Back to work.

-Aedan

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